Protesters march from Hyderabad to Karachi against enforced disappearances

Published: July 8, 2017

HYDERABAD: Holding a list of 43 missing persons from Sindh and demanding the state stop committing alleged enforced disappearances, a group of activists has set on a long march from Hyderabad to Karachi. The marchers, led by peasants rights activist Punhal Sario and political activist Mashooq Chandio, reached Tando Muhammad Khan district on Friday.

As they moved past and stopped at small semi-urban and rural towns of Hyderabad and Tando Muhammad Khan, the marchers chanted against what they described as a suppression of voices of nationalist political workers. “Many nationalist workers have been taken away and kept for months and years in illegal detention as a punishment for their love for Sindh,” alleged Sario, who led around a dozen campaigners, including women, in the protest.

According to him, among the 43 missing men, 14 were whisked away in the first six months of this year. “The enforced disappearances are compelling the people to nurture hatred against the state,” said Sario.

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Chandio, meanwhile, asserted that their protest will continue even after reaching Karachi unless the missing men are either returned or produced in courts of law for their alleged crimes.

The people who have gone missing this year include Khadim Arijo, Hidayat Lohar, Sabir Chandio, Aijaz Gaho, Ayub Kandhro, Murtaza Junejo, Ghulam Raza Jarwar, Shadi Khan Soomro, Ali Ahmed Bughio, Aziz Gurgez, Insaaf Dayo, Mukhtiar Almani, Suhail Raza Bhatti and Baksh Ali Mugheri.

The families of seven missing persons are participating in the march. Most of the missing persons were known to have political affiliations mainly with thte Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz-Arisar and Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz factions of Jeay Sindh Tehreek of late GM Syed.

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The families of Soomro, Bughio and Gurgez, who were all whisked away from different areas of Badin district on May 24, claimed that the three were not politically connected with any group.

According to the monthly report of the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances formed by the Supreme Court, 57 persons from Sindh remained missing as of June 30, 2017. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan’s regional incharge Dr Ashothama Luhano told The Express Tribune that students, farmers and labourers are also among these persons. The oldest among them is 55-year-old Khadim Arijo and the youngest is 19-year-old Allah Wadhayo Mahar.

The marchers will pass through Sujawal and Thatta districts on their way to Karachi.

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